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24 Jun 20. NASA Names Headquarters After ‘Hidden Figure’ Mary W. Jackson. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Wednesday the agency’s headquarters building in Washington, D.C., will be named after Mary W. Jackson, the first African American female engineer at NASA.

Jackson started her NASA career in the segregated West Area Computing Unit of the agency’s Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia. Jackson, a mathematician and aerospace engineer, went on to lead programs influencing the hiring and promotion of women in NASA’s science, technology, engineering, and mathematics careers. In 2019, she was posthumously awarded the Congressional Gold Medal.

“Mary W. Jackson was part of a group of very important women who helped NASA succeed in getting American astronauts into space. Mary never accepted the status quo, she helped break barriers and open opportunities for African Americans and women in the field of engineering and technology,” said Bridenstine. “Today, we proudly announce the Mary W. Jackson NASA Headquarters building. It appropriately sits on ‘Hidden Figures Way,’ a reminder that Mary is one of many incredible and talented professionals in NASA’s history who contributed to this agency’s success. Hidden no more, we will continue to recognize the contributions of women, African Americans, and people of all backgrounds who have helped construct NASA’s successful history to explore.”

The work of the West Area Computing Unit caught widespread national attention in the 2016 Margot Lee Shetterly book “Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race.” The book was made into a popular movie that same year and Jackson’s character was played by award-winning actress Janelle Monáe.

In 2019, after a bipartisan bill by Sens. Ted Cruz, Ed Markey, John Thune, and Bill Nelson made its way through Congress, the portion of E Street SW in front of NASA Headquarters was renamed Hidden Figures Way.

“We are honored that NASA continues to celebrate the legacy of our mother and grandmother Mary W. Jackson,” said, Carolyn Lewis, Mary’s daughter. “She was a scientist, humanitarian, wife, mother, and trailblazer who paved the way for thousands of others to succeed, not only at NASA, but throughout this nation.”

Jackson was born and raised in Hampton, Virginia. After graduating high school, she graduated from Hampton Institute in 1942 with a dual degree in math and physical sciences, and initially accepted a job as a math teacher in Calvert County, Maryland. She would work as a bookkeeper, marry Levi Jackson and start a family, and work a job as a U.S. Army secretary before her aerospace career would take off.

In 1951, Jackson was recruited by the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, which in 1958 was succeeded by NASA. She started as a research mathematician who became known as one of the human computers at Langley. She worked under fellow “Hidden Figure” Dorothy Vaughan in the segregated West Area Computing Unit.

After two years in the computing pool, Jackson received an offer to work in the 4-foot by 4-foot Supersonic Pressure Tunnel, a 60,000 horsepower wind tunnel capable of blasting models with winds approaching twice the speed of sound. There, she received hands-on experience conducting experiments. Her supervisor eventually suggested she enter a training program that would allow Jackson to earn a promotion from mathematician to engineer. Because the classes were held at then-segregated Hampton High School, Jackson needed special permission to join her white peers in the classroom.

Jackson completed the courses, earned the promotion, and in 1958 became NASA’s first Black female engineer. For nearly two decades during her engineering career, she authored or co-authored research numerous reports, most focused on the behavior of the boundary layer of air around airplanes. In 1979, she joined Langley’s Federal Women’s Program, where she worked hard to address the hiring and promotion of the next generation of female mathematicians, engineers and scientists. Mary retired from Langley in 1985.

In 2019, President Donald J. Trump signed the Hidden Figures Congressional Gold Medal Act that posthumously awarded the honor to Jackson, who passed away in 2005, and her “Hidden Figures” colleagues Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Christine Darden.

In 2017, then 99-year-old Katherine Johnson was there to personally dedicate a new state-of-the-art computer research facility the bears her name at Langley. Johnson, another original member of the West Area Computing Unit, also was honored as a trailblazer and given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015. In addition, Johnson was part of the group honored with the Congressional Gold Medal, and NASA’s Independent Verification and Validation facility in Fairmont, West Virginia, also bears Johnson’s name.

“NASA facilities across the country are named after people who dedicated their lives to push the frontiers of the aerospace industry. The nation is beginning to awaken to the greater need to honor the full diversity of people who helped pioneer our great nation. Over the years NASA has worked to honor the work of these Hidden Figures in various ways, including naming facilities, renaming streets and celebrating their legacy,” added Bridenstine. “We know there are many other people of color and diverse backgrounds who have contributed to our success, which is why we’re continuing the conversations started about a year ago with the agency’s Unity Campaign. NASA is dedicated to advancing diversity, and we will continue to take steps to do so.” (Source: PR Newswire)

24 Jun 20. DIO awards contract to Galliford for RAF Lossiemouth infrastructure. The UK Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) has awarded a £20m contract to Galliford Try to provide facilities for RAF Lossiemouth’s Typhoon Squadron. Galliford Try won the contract for facilities that will house Number IX (Bomber) Squadron.

Work is expected to commence later this year and will conclude in two years.

The contract includes refurbishment of an existing hangar and construction of new technical and storage facilities.

RAF Lossiemouth will undergo redevelopment with improved runway and facilities for its fleet of Poseidon and upgraded accommodation.

Currently, RAF Lossiemouth houses four Squadrons of Typhoons.

Multi-role combat aircraft RAF Typhoon has conducted diverse operations across the world, including its deployment on Nato Baltic Air Policing.

Once established, IX(B) Squadron will be the RAF’s dedicated fourth-generation Aggressors.

DIO project manager Margaret Jesson said: “It’s exciting to have reached this stage of the project and we are looking forward to continuing to work with our colleagues at RAF Lossiemouth and Galliford Try to provide some fantastic facilities for these Typhoon pilots and ground crew.”

Galliford Try defence director Keith Yarham said: “We are delighted to be working once again with DIO to deliver much needed infrastructure for the RAF.

“Together with our previous experience at RAF Marham and RAF Valley we are building a strong track record in the air station sector, and look forward to providing the personnel at Lossiemouth with the high-quality facilities they depend on.” (Source: airforce-technology.com)


24 Jun 20. RNZN’s future fleet support vessel to arrive in New Zealand on 26 June. The Royal New Zealand Navy (RNZN) has announced that its future fleet tanker/replenishment vessel is expected to sail into Auckland Harbour on 26 June following a 16-day journey from the South Korean coastal city of Ulsan where the 173.2 m-long vessel was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI).

The auxiliary oiler replenishment (AOR) vessel, which will be known as HMNZS Aotearoa (A 11) once it enters service, is expected to be formally commissioned in late July at the Devonport Naval Base, replacing fleet replenishment tanker Endeavour, which was decommissioned in December 2017.

The ship’s homeport will be New Plymouth in the country’s western region of Taranaki. Ordered for NZD493m (USD317m) in 2016 under New Zealand’s Maritime Sustainment Capability (MSC) programme, the vessel, which has a displacement of 26,000 tonnes, was laid down in August 2018 and launched in April 2019.

Aotearoa, which will be capable of carrying 30% more fuel than Endeavour , will be the largest vessel operated by the RNZN.

The vessel will be able to carry 8,000 tonnes of diesel fuel, 1,550 tonnes of aviation fuel, and 250 tonnes of fresh water for resupply operations. It will also be capable of carrying up to 14 standard 20 ft containers and producing 100 tonnes of fresh water each day, according to the RNZN. (Source: Jane’s)

22 Jun 20. Chinese navy commissions another Type 056-class corvette. Another Type 056 (Jiangdao)-class corvette has entered service with China’s People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), as reflected in photographs posted on the Chinese Weibo social media platform.

The ship has been given pennant number 617 and named Jingdezhen after a prefecture-level city in China’s northeastern Jiangxi Province. The commissioning ceremony appears to have taken place on 17 June at a naval facility in the eastern coastal city of Xiamen.

The Type 056 design may also be classed as a light frigate, and the latest ship is thought to have joined the 16th frigate squadron, which already operates four Type 056 and two anti-submarine warfare (ASW)-capable Type 056A corvettes.

It is not entirely clear how many Type 056s are now in service, although it is more than 50. Four of the class were commissioned in January but unconfirmed sources suggest that a further six may subsequently have been commissioned this year, prior to Jingdezhen.

Although unconfirmed, the number of commissionings is quite plausible. In January it was assessed that there were at least 20 more of the class that had been launched and were fitting out or undergoing sea trials. (Source: Jane’s)

20 Jun 20. US Naval Littoral Combat Ship USS Kansas City Joins the Fleet. The U.S. Navy commissioned Independence-variant littoral combat ship USS Kansas City (LCS 22) today, June 20.

The Navy commissioned Kansas City administratively via naval message due to public health safety and restrictions of large public gatherings related to the coronavirus pandemic and transitioned the ship to normal operations. The Navy is looking at a future opportunity to commemorate the special event with the ship’s sponsor, crew, and commissioning committee.

“This Independence-variant littoral combat ship will continue our proud naval legacy and embody the spirit of the people of Kansas City,” said Secretary of the Navy Kenneth J. Braithwaite. “I am confident the crew of the USS Kansas City will extend the reach and capability of our force and confront the challenges of today’s complex world with our core values of honor, courage and commitment.”

Vice Adm. Richard A. Brown, commander, Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, welcomed the ship that brings capabilities to counter diesel submarine, mines, and fast surface craft threats to the premier surface force in the world.

“Like other littoral combat ships, Kansas City brings speed and agility to the fleet,” said Brown via naval message. “Congratulations to Kansas City’s captain and crew for all of your hard work to reach this milestone. You join a proud Surface Force that controls the seas and provides the nation with combat naval power when and where needed.”

Mrs. Tracy Davidson, the ship’s sponsor, offered congratulations to everyone who played a role in delivering USS Kansas City to service.

“I am so proud of USS Kansas City and her crew, and everyone involved, for all the tremendous work they’ve done to bring this ship to life. Their dedication to our nation and the Navy is very much appreciated,” said Davidson. “I am privileged to be a part of this ship honoring Kansas City and look forward to remaining connected to USS Kansas City as her legacy grows, wherever she may sail.”

Kansas City’s commanding officer, Cmdr. R.J. Zamberlan, reported the ship ready.

“The caliber of crew required to prepare a warship entering the fleet is second to none,” said Zamberlan. “This is even more impressive aboard an LCS, where every member of the minimally manned team is required to fulfill multiple roles and excel at all of them to get the job done. This crew has exceeded expectations in unprecedented times and I could not be prouder to be their captain.”

Kansas City is the 11th of the Independence variant to join the fleet and the second ship to be named for Kansas City. The name Kansas City was assigned to a heavy cruiser during World War II. However, construction was canceled after one month due to the end of the war. The name Kansas City was also assigned to the Wichita-class replenishment oiler AOR-3 in 1967. This ship saw service in the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm and was decommissioned in 1994.

The littoral combat ship is a fast, agile and networked surface combatant, and the primary mission for the LCS includes countering diesel submarine threats, littoral mine threats and surface threats to assure maritime access for joint forces. The underlying strength of the LCS lies in its innovative design approach, applying modularity for operational flexibility. Fundamental to this approach is the capability to rapidly install interchangeable mission packages (MPs) onto the seaframe to fulfill a specific mission and then be uninstalled, maintained and upgraded at the Mission Package Support Facility (MPSF) for future use aboard any LCS seaframe. (Source: US DoD)


24 Jun 20. Bell Boeing Delivers 1st Fleet CMV-22B to US Navy. First CMV-22B for fleet operations arrives at Naval Air Station North Island. Bell Textron Inc., a Textron Inc. (NYSE: TXT) company, and Boeing [NYSE: BA] delivered the first CMV-22B for fleet operations to the U.S. Navy on June 22. The V-22 is based at Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Squadron (VRM) 30 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego.

“This first fleet delivery marks a new chapter of the V-22 Tiltrotor program providing enhanced capabilities and increased flexibility to the U.S. Navy as they conduct important operational missions around the globe,” said Shane Openshaw, Boeing vice president of Tiltrotor Programs and deputy director of the Bell Boeing team.

This aircraft is the third overall delivery to the U.S. Navy. Bell Boeing delivered the first CMV-22B at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in February for developmental testing, followed by a second in May. The Navy variant V-22 will take over the Carrier Onboard Delivery Mission, replacing the C-2A Greyhound.

“We are thrilled to bring the Osprey’s capabilities as a warfighting enabler and its ability to provide time sensitive logistics to the men and women deployed around the world in support of U.S. Navy operations,” said Kurt Fuller, Bell V-22 vice president and Bell Boeing program director.

The CMV-22B and C-2A greyhound conducted a symbolic passing of the torch flight in April.

“The CMV-22 will be a game-changing enabler to the high end fight supporting the sustainment of combat lethality to the carrier strike group,” said U.S. Navy Capt. Dewon Chaney, Commodore, Fleet Logistics Multi-Mission Wing. The multi-mission capabilities of the CMV-22, already recognized, will be realized in Naval Aviation’s Air Wing of the future. The arrival of this aircraft is the first of many steps to that becoming reality.”

The CMV-22B carries up to 6,000 pounds of cargo and combines the vertical takeoff, hover and landing (VTOL) qualities of a helicopter with the long-range, fuel efficiency and speed characteristics of a turboprop aircraft.

Bell Boeing designed the Navy variant to have the expanded range needed for fleet operations. Two additional 60-gallon tanks and redesigned forward sponson tanks can cover more than 1,150 nautical miles. The CMV-22B also has the unique ability to provide roll-on/roll-off delivery of the F135 engine power module, enhancing the Navy’s readiness. (Source: ASD Network)

25 Jun 20. Rwanda to receive two MEDEVAC aircraft for Africa UN missions in 2022. Rwanda is to receive two new aircraft in 2022 that will be used for medical evacuation and light transport missions during international peacekeeping operations throughout Africa, it was disclosed on 24 June.

The Cessna Grand Caravan (pictured here in Iraqi service) is to equip the Rwandan Air Force as it prepares to receive a pair of aircraft for US medical evacuation and other light transport duties. (US Air Force)

A Foreign Military Sales (FMS) notification issued by the US Air Force (USAF) said that ATI Engineering Services LLC of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, has been awarded a USD10.1m contract for Rwanda Cessna C-208 EX Grand Caravan aircraft acquisition.

The award, which includes a flight training device and other support, will see the aircraft delivered by 31 July 2022.

Janes first reported in 2018 that the USAF was looking for a pair of single-engined propeller-driven aircraft for the Rwanda Air Force (Force Aerienne Rwandaise: FAR) for United Nations deployments in the Central African Republic, Sudan, South Sudan, or other locations in Africa.

While no type was disclosed at that time the performance parameters as set out by the USAF strongly suggested the Grand Caravan would be selected. These parameters and specifications comprised a current commercial design with a maximum all-up weight of 12,500 lb (5,670 kg), newbuild, fixed landing gear, and featuring a high-wing configuration for maximum pilot visibility of the ground. (Source: Jane’s)

18 Jun 20. Canada rules out mechanical failure in CH-148 Cyclone crash. The Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) have ruled out mechanical failure as the cause of the Sikorsky CH-148 Cyclone maritime and anti-submarine warfare (ASW) helicopter that crashed on 29 April in the Ionian Sea.

Colonel John Alexander, director of flight safety and airworthiness investigative authority, told reporters on 16 June that first responders recovered the beacon foil air unit, which houses the memory module for the cockpit voice recorder, the flight data recorder, and a Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite receiver and beacon on the water’s surface. Canada’s National Research Council (NRC) was able produce modelling showing the aircraft’s flight path, attitude, some instrument indications, and the pilots’ inputs into the flight control. CAF spokesperson Lieutenant Nora Amrane said on 17 June that the Cyclone had two pilots. The CAF used this information to re-fly the flight profile in its Cyclone simulator as it was captured by the flight data recorder in the moments leading to the crash. Col Alexander said that during the return to land on the HMCS Fredericton , the CH-148 made a pass on the port side of the ship from stern to bow. The aircraft then executed a left-hand turn to establish a down-wind leg in preparation for the approach to the ship. (Source: Jane’s)

19 Jun 20. Five-bladed H145 receives type certification by EASA.

  • Ready for customer deliveries later this year
  • Raising the bar in performance, comfort, simplicity and connectivity

Airbus Helicopters’ five-bladed H145 has been certified by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), clearing the way for customer deliveries towards the end of summer 2020. The certification covers the full range of capabilities, including single-pilot and instrument flight rules (IFR) and single engine operations (Cat.A/VTOL), along with night vision goggles capability.

“Our new five bladed H145 is an excellent example of our quest for continuous improvement and providing incremental innovation that responds to our customers’ requirements”, said Bruno Even, Airbus Helicopters CEO. “This helicopter combines value-added features with the robustness and the reliability of a tried-and-tested bestseller, making it very competitive in the light twin-engine market.”

The new version of Airbus’ best-selling H145 light twin-engine helicopter was unveiled at Heli-Expo 2019 in Atlanta, GA, with launch customers announced for almost every market segment. Prior to the successful high-altitude test campaign in South America, where the aircraft set its skids down on the Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Southern hemisphere, the new H145 performed several test campaigns including in Spain at medium altitudes and Finland for cold weather.

This latest upgrade of the H145 family adds a new, innovative five-bladed rotor to the multi-mission H145, increasing the useful load of the helicopter by 150 kg (330 lb). The simplicity of the new bearingless main rotor design will also ease maintenance operations, further improving the benchmark serviceability and reliability of the H145, while improving ride comfort for both passengers and crew. Certification by the Federal Aviation Administration will follow later this year. The certification for the military version of the five-bladed H145 will be granted in 2021.

Powered by two Safran Arriel 2E engines, the H145 is equipped with full authority digital engine control (FADEC) and the Helionix digital avionics suite. It includes a high performance 4-axis autopilot, increasing safety and reducing pilot workload. Its particularly low acoustic footprint makes the H145 the quietest helicopter in its class.

19 Jun 20. Royal New Zealand Air Force receives King Air 350 aircraft. This concludes the delivery of all four aircraft under a ten-year contract. It comprised a King Air 350 sensor and non-sensor twin-engine turboprop aircraft.

Additionally, the company provided engineering and logistics support for the aircraft and associated ground training systems.

The aircraft will be used by the RNZAF’s 42 Squadron based at Ohakea in NZ.

Australian Minister for Defence Industry Melissa Price said: “This is a significant defence export by a local company, demonstrating the capability of Australia’s defence industry as a global exporter.

“Supporting Australia’s defence industry remains a priority, particularly through the Covid-19 recovery phase, and there are many opportunities for Australian and NZ businesses to work together.

The project was managed and engineered by Hawker Pacific’s Special Missions design team in Sydney, Australia.

Once developed, the installation and testing were conducted at the company’s facility in Bankstown.

The aircrew training capability contract includes the lease and performance-based support of the KA350 fleet to be modified with airborne and ground systems.

Specialist systems for the aircraft were delivered by MAROPS and Rockwell Collins.

Price added: “NZ is one of Australia’s closest friends and defence partners. Trans-Tasman cooperation is strengthening our already strong bilateral relationship.

“Just recently, the Minister for Defence and I spoke with NZ Defence Minister the Hon Ron Mark about working together in the fight against Covid-19.”

Last month, the Australian Department of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology signed a strategic agreement with Gold Coast company Gilmour Space Technologies to work on space technologies. (Source: airforce-technology.com)


24 Jun 20. Statement from Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper on the Resignations of Drs. Michael Griffin and Lisa Porter. Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Dr. Michael D. Griffin, and Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Dr. Lisa Porter, have tendered their resignations effective July 10, 2020. Dr. Griffin became under secretary in February of 2018, and Dr. Porter began her role in October of 2018.

Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper issued the following statement: “Yesterday, I received letters of resignation from Dr. Mike Griffin, Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, and Dr. Lisa Porter, Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering. Both Mike and Lisa will leave the department effective July 10. During their tenures, Dr. Griffin and Dr. Porter advanced critical work on the department’s modernization priorities. They leave an office with a legacy of excellence in the research and development of technology that ensures American military advantage on land, at sea, in the air and in space. Mike and Lisa have my sincere thanks for their dedicated service to the department and the nation, and I wish them the very best as they enter this new chapter of their lives.” (Source: US DoD)

23 Jun 20. DoD Undersecretary for Research and Engineering Mike Griffin, and his deputy Lisa Porter, have jointly tendered their resignations affective July 10 — after two tumultuous years and increasing congressional push back on R&E management.

A DoD official confirmed the resignation today, noting only that Griffin and Porter went to the White House this morning and informed the staff later.  An email from the two sent to staff, obtained by Breaking D, states:

“As has been our practice, this is from Mike’s email, but equally from both of us. We want to inform you that we have submitted our resignations from our present positions, effective 10 July.  A private-sector opportunity has presented itself to us, offering an opportunity we have decided to pursue together.”

The joint email prompted puzzled responses from experts and former government officials. (Source: Breaking Defense.com)



26 Jun 20. New commando uniform for Royal Marines. Royal Marines Commandos are to get a brand new uniform under the most significant transformation and rebranding programme launched since World War 2.

Elite commandos of the Royal Navy are undertaking a bold modernisation project – known as the Future Commando Force programme – which will overhaul the way world famous Green Berets operate around the globe.

As part of this restructuring, Royal Marines will have a new uniform, fit for a new era of warfare, that is in-keeping with the maritime traditions of the corps, and also honours their commando forebears.

The NATO procured uniform – which is been procured from USA-based firm Crye Precision – is lighter weight, has higher tear-strength, is faster-drying and is more breathable than typical 50/50 cotton/nylon kit.

It also has a subtle change in camouflage design – instead of the previous multi-terrain pattern – the uniform now uses Crye Precision’s MultiCam pattern.

And, in the week that saw the 80th anniversary of Operation Collar, the first commando raid of World War 2, the marines have drawn on their heritage by returning to the traditional Royal Marines Commando insignia, just like the design first worn by commandos when they launched daring raids into Nazi-occupied Europe.

The flash with red writing and navy-blue background will be worn once again, as commandos evolve to conduct more raids from the sea, persistently deployed to counter the threats of the modern-day battlefield.

For the first time the White Ensign features on one sleeve, as a clear indication of the Royal Marines’ integration with the Royal Navy.

The iconic Fairbairn-Sykes Dagger patch of 3 Commando Brigade Royal Marines has been redesigned and is based on the first pattern of the legendary fighting knife made in 1940.

Lieutenant Colonel Ben Reynolds RM, who led with the procurement and design of the new uniform, said: “The Royal Marines are integral to the Royal Navy and an extremely versatile elite force, able to operate from mountain and Arctic wastes to jungle and littorals.

“The Royal Marines’ Commando Uniform 2020 reflects our distinctiveness and the unique capabilities we bring to defence, in addition to the Royal Navy’s eagerness to invest in our development towards the Future Commando Force.

“The practical benefits to this uniform shouldn’t be underestimated. It has been specifically selected to serve commandos as they carry out operations all around the globe in the most extreme environments.”

Marines are already receiving the new combat shirt and trousers, field shirt and trousers, a utility jacket and utility belt and will begin wearing the new uniform from this Autumn.

The new uniform – which harks back to the fabled commandos heritage while modernising their equipment – is part of a wider transformational drive which will change the way Royal Marines operate.

Under the Future Commando Force programme more Royal Marines will operate from the sea, utilising new and innovative technology as high-readiness troops, forward deployed and ready to react, whether that’s war-fighting, specific combat missions such as commando raids, or providing humanitarian assistance.

Minister for the Armed Forces, James Heappey, said: “The Royal Marines require a uniform that they can rely on in the most hostile of environments on earth. This robust, breathable and lightweight kit will ensure our commandos remain fighting fit and able to deal with the full range of threats we rely on them to face.

“It is fitting that on the 80th Anniversary of the first commando raid of World War 2, this uniform now bears the traditional Royal Marine Commando insignia. A poignant link to their history as the commando force embarks on a modernisation programme that will keep them in their place as the world’s best amphibious force.”

The Royal Marines’ Commando Uniform 2020 was procured in just over one year, utilising the NATO Support & Procurement Agency, demonstrating the Royal Navy’s appetite to invest in the Royal Marines. (Source: Royal Navy)

22 Jun 20. Junior sailors make history as number of Royal Navy recruits soars. Junior sailors are making history by training at the spiritual home of naval officers amid a rise in demand to join the Royal Navy during the COVID-19 outbreak.

To meet the sudden spike in interest among those wishing to serve their country, sailors are being inducted into the Royal Navy at the iconic Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) in Dartmouth for the first time in history.

A group of 47 new recruits started their nine-week basic training course at the college last week. BRNC has been the home of Royal Navy officer training for over 100 years while new entry training for ratings is done at HMS Raleigh in Cornwall.

But with an increased interest in careers in the service, the Royal Navy has increased training capacity for ratings with an additional intake of sailors at BRNC.

Minister for the Armed Forces James Heappey said: “It is essential that our Royal Navy recruits are able to train today to fight the threats of the future.

“The brilliant work of our Armed Forces during the COVID-19 response has demonstrated just how rewarding and diverse a career in the Armed Forces is – and led to even more applications from ambitious hopefuls.

“Increased capacity at Dartmouth will allow recruits to go on to become full-time sailors, helping to protect the security of the UK and our allies”

The Royal Navy has continued to train new sailors throughout the coronavirus outbreak to support the country in times of need and ensure key Defence outputs are maintained.

Captain Roger Readwin, the Captain of BRNC, said: “It is an absolute privilege to support the training of ratings at Dartmouth and to play our part in growing the Royal Navy.

“This will also be a historical first with officer cadets and ratings training together, celebrated with a combined passing out parade at the end.

“The planning and preparation to deliver this training has been developed in close partnership with the team at HMS Raleigh.”

The course at BRNC is based on the tried and tested programme developed by HMS Raleigh. It will be primarily delivered by instructors with experience of the course, while calling on the expertise of BRNC staff for specialist areas such as physical training, seamanship and navigation.

Captain Richard Harris, the Commanding Officer of HMS Raleigh, said: “Since March, around 600 sailors have completed their basic training here at HMS Raleigh and we’ve continued to take in approximately 60 recruits every week.

“This is an exciting opportunity for some of our recruits to experience training at Dartmouth and gain an insight into how the officers train. I look forward to seeing them on the parade ground for their passing-out-parade in August.”

During training recruits are placed in divisions, and to recognise the unique nature of their course the first ratings at BRNC have formed a new group named the Whittall Division.

It has been named in honour of Petty Officer Wren Ellen Whittall who was the only fatality when the college was bombed in September 1942.

Among the new recruits training at BRNC is Kieran Warren, 22, from Witham in Essex. He said: “I’ve always wanted to work in the public sector. My dad and my brother are in the Army and I wanted to do something different. When I found out I was joining Dartmouth, I did some research into the college. I felt it would be a real opportunity to see how the officers train, interact with them and then maybe meet them later during our careers.”

Sophie Loraine, aged 18 from Sunderland, said: “When I heard that I’d been selected to go forward for the course at Dartmouth I was really excited and glad that I’m going to be able to start my career early.

“Being in the Royal Navy is my dream job. Looking out of the window where I’m from I couldn’t see anything that I wanted to do other than be in the Royal Navy because of all the career and travel opportunities. Training is going to be a challenge, particularly all the organisation, but I think I’m prepared.” (Source: Royal Navy)

19 Jun 20. Former USS Theodore Roosevelt Commander Will Not Be Reinstated. Following the release of a report into the events surrounding an outbreak of COVID-19 on the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, Navy Capt. Brett E. Crozier, the ship’s former commander, will not be reinstated, Navy Adm. Michael M. Gilday, chief of naval operations said at a Pentagon news conference.

Based on facts found in the report, which Gilday and Navy Secretary Kenneth J. Braithwaite characterized as both thorough and fair, Gilday said his initial recommendation that Crozier reinstated was proven wrong.

In addition, Navy Rear Adm. Stuart Baker’s pending promotion to two-star rank has been put on hold, pending further review, Gilday said. Baker, the commander of Strike Group 9, was Crozier’s immediate superior.

“I previously believed that Captain Crozier should be reinstated following his relief in April, after conducting an initial investigation,” Gilday said at today’s news conference. “The much broader, deeper investigation that we conducted in the weeks following that had a much deeper scope. It is my belief that both Admiral Baker and Captain Crozier fell well short of what we expect of those in command. Had I known then what I know today, I would have not made that recommendation to reinstate Captain Crozier. Moreover, if Captain Crozier were still in command today, I would be relieving him.”

Crozier will not be reassigned as the commanding officer of the USS Theodore Roosevelt, nor will he be eligible for future command opportunities. Instead, he will be reassigned to other work.

“Captain Crozier’s primary responsibility was the safety and the well-being of the crew, so that the ship could remain as operationally ready as possible,” he said. “In reviewing both Admiral Baker and Captain Crozier’s actions, they did not do enough, soon enough, to fulfill their primary obligation.”

Both Crozier and Baker failed to move sailors off the aircraft carrier as quickly as they could have, and failed to move them to a safer environment more quickly, Gilday said. Additionally, he said, Crozier “exercised questionable judgment when he released sailors from quarantine on the ship, which put his crew at higher risk and may have increased the spread of the virus aboard the Theodore Roosevelt.”

Crozier was relieved of duty April 2 following the leak of a letter he wrote to those higher up in his chain of command. In the letter, he asked for more assistance in dealing with the outbreak of COVID-19 on the ship. Gilday said it is the findings of the more detailed investigation, rather than the existence of the leaked letter, that have prevented Crozier from being reinstated as commander of the Roosevelt.

“As Captain Crozier stated in his email, he should have been more decisive when the ship pulled into Guam,” Gilday said. “He also said that he was ultimately responsible for his ship and his crew. And I agree. In the end, the email and the letters sent by Captain Crozier were unnecessary. Actions were already underway to acquire [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention]-compliant off-base hotel rooms for the crew before he sent that email.”

Gilday said it’s rare for ship commanders to directly communicate as high up in their chain of command as Crozier did.

“If they do, they must ensure that all of the means of communication within the chain of command have been thoroughly exhausted and that they have a full understanding of all the facts, and that they include all members of their chain of command in that communication,” he said.

At the time the letter was sent, Gilday said, the Navy already had made arrangements for off-ship lodging for Roosevelt sailors.

Braithwaite said he’s satisfied with the depth and fairness of the report, and its conclusions.

“I am satisfied that it was conducted in an extremely thorough and fair manner,” he said. “Moreover, I fully support its findings and recommendations, and I’d like to take this time to commend the investigation team led by [Adm. Robert P. Burke] under the direction of our chief of naval operations [on the work that they did, under very demanding conditions.”

The secretary also commended Guam Gov. Lew Guerrero; Navy Rear Adm. John Menoni, the commander of Joint Region Marianas; and Navy Capt. Jeffrey Grimes, commander of Naval Base Guam, for work related to finding facilities on Guam to house sailors from the Roosevelt.

“Their outstanding efforts greatly contributed to the health, safety and recovery of the crew of USS Theodore Roosevelt,” Braithwaite said.

Braithwaite also expressed condolences for Navy Chief Petty Officer Charles Robert Thacker Jr., a USS Theodore Roosevelt aviation ordnanceman, who died April 13 of COVID-19. He was the only sailor aboard the Roosevelt to die from COVID-19. (Source: US DoD)

19 Jun 20. UK-Qatari Typhoons Take Off As Joint Squadron. The Royal Air Force and Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF) Typhoon Squadron, known as No.12 Squadron, have marked an important milestone as they commenced flying as a Joint Squadron. Based at RAF Coningsby, No.12 Squadron is a unique initiative between the UK and Qatar and will provide the QEAF with valuable experience operating the Typhoon as they prepare to receive their first aircraft. With deliveries commencing in 2022, the aircraft are part of a £5.1bn deal between BAE Systems and the Government of Qatar. The flags of both nations were raised at RAF Coningsby this week as Typhoons with new Squadron markings flew for the first time, signalling the Squadron’s readiness to train pilots and ground crew from both air forces.  (Source: News Now/RAF)


23 Jun 20. Seven New Members Appointed to the DACOWITS. The Department of Defense announced today the induction of seven new members to the Defense Advisory Committee on Women in the Services. DACOWITS provides the Secretary of Defense with advice and recommendations on matters and policies relating to the recruitment, retention, employment, integration, well-being, and treatment of women in the U.S. Armed Forces.

The committee is comprised of up to 20 members, who include prominent civilian women and men from academia, industry, public service, and other professions. Selection is on the basis of experience in the military or with women-related workforce issues. Members are selected for a 4-year term and perform a variety of duties, to include visiting military installations annually, conducting a review and evaluation of current research on military women, and developing an annual report with recommendations on these issues for the secretary of defense.

New committee appointments include:

  • Retired Maj. Gen. George A. Alexander, M.D., U.S. Army National Guard
  • Retired Vice Adm. Robin R. Braun, U.S. Navy
  • Retired Col. Many-Bears Grinder, U.S. Army National Guard
  • Retired Command Master Chief Octavia D. Harris, U.S. Navy
  • Retired Maj. Gen. Ronald L. Johnson, U.S. Army
  • Ms. Robin Kelleher
  • Retired Fleet Master Chief Susan A. Whitman, U.S. Navy

Current committee members:

  • Retired Capt. Kenneth J. Barrett, U.S. Navy
  • Retired Lt. Gen. Judith A. Fedder, U.S. Air Force
  • Ms. Therese A. Hughes
  • Retired Command Sgt. Maj. Michele S. Jones, U.S. Army
  • Retired Maj. Priscilla W. Locke, U.S. Army
  • Retired Lt. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army
  • Ms. Janie L. Mines, U.S. Navy Veteran
  • Retired Fleet Master Chief JoAnn M. Ortloff, U.S. Navy
  • Retired Brig. Gen. Jarisse J. Sanborn, U.S. Air Force
  • Retired Brig. Gen. Allyson R. Solomon, U.S. Air National Guard
  • Retired Rear Adm. Cari B. Thomas, U.S. Coast Guard
  • Retired Gen. Janet C. Wolfenbarger, U.S. Air Force

(Source: US DoD)

19 Jun 20. The Department of Defense has named Dave Spirk as the new Chief Data Officer (CDO) within the Department’s office of the Chief Information Officer. Spirk is a former Marine and served most recently as the CDO for U.S. Special Operations Command. He has significant experience in the Intelligence Community and will play a critical role in executing the DOD Digital Modernization Strategy. Previously, Spirk was associate director of technology investment in the Secretary of the Air Force’s Concept Development and Management Office for Advanced Analytics and Technology Investment. Spirk has also worked as a U.S. Marine Corps intelligence specialist in Afghanistan and at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence as the chief of operations for the Cuba and Venezuela Mission Manager.

25 Jun 20. MG Clement S. Coward Jr., commanding general, 32d Army Air and Missile Defense Command, Fort Bliss, Texas, to director, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Office, Department of Defense Human Resources Activity, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Personnel and Readiness), Arlington, Virginia.

25 Jun 20. MG Sean P. Swindell, special assistant to the director of the Army Staff, Office of the Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C., to assistant deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7, U.S. Army, Washington, D.C.

25 Jun 20. BG Anthony R. Hale, director of intelligence, J-2, U.S. Special Operations Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Florida, to commanding general and commandant, U.S. Army Intelligence Center of Excellence and Fort Huachuca, Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

U.S. Army Reserve

25 Jun 20. MG Darrell J. Guthrie, commanding general (Troop Program Unit), U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 88th Readiness Division, Fort Snelling, Minnesota.

25 Jun 20. BG Stacy M. Babcock, deputy commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 63d Readiness Division, Mountain View, California, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 86th Training Division, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin.

25 Jun 20. BG Tina B. Boyd, deputy commanding general, cyber (Troop Program Unit), 335th Signal Command (Theater), East Point, Georgia, to commanding general, 335th Signal Command (Theater), Operational Command Post (Forward), Kuwait.

25 Jun 20. BG Jeffrey C. Coggin, deputy commanding general (Troop Program Unit), U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), U.S. Army Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations Command (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

25 Jun 20. BG Howard-Charles W. Geck, commander (Troop Program Unit), 103d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Des Moines, Iowa, to assistant to the deputy commanding general, readiness (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), U.S. Army Reserve Command, Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

25 Jun 20. BG Cheryn L. Fasano, commander (Troop Program Unit), 310th Sustainment Command (Expeditionary), Indianapolis, Indiana, to deputy commander (Troop Program Unit), 377th Theater Sustainment Command, Belle Chasse, Louisiana.

25 Jun 20. BG Joseph A. Marsiglia, deputy commanding general (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Army Reserve Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Florida; and assistant surgeon general for mobilization and reserve affairs (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), Medical Readiness and Training Command, Joint Base San Antonio, Texas.

25 Jun 20. BG Patricia R. Wallace, deputy commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 88th Readiness Division, Fort McCoy, Wisconsin, to commanding general (Troop Program Unit), 91st Training Division (Operations), Fort Hunter Liggett, California.

25 Jun 20. Col. (Promotable) Jeffrey B. McCarter, commander (Troop Program Unit), First Medical Training Brigade (Training Support), Fort Gordon, Georgia, to deputy commanding general (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Army Reserve Medical Command, Pinellas Park, Florida; and assistant surgeon general for mobilization and reserve affairs (Individual Mobilization Augmentee), Office of the Surgeon General, Falls Church, Virginia.

25 Jun 20. Col. (Promotable) Peder L. Swanson, program director for Reserve Medical, U.S. Army Element, Office of the Secretary Defense, Washington D.C., to deputy commander (Troop Program Unit), 807th Medical Command (Deployment Support), Salt Lake City, Utah.



19 Jun 20. Leonardo and Intermarine Agreement Signed for Strategic Alliance in the Naval Sector.

  • The ten-year industrial relationship between the two companies has been confirmed, as well as the intention to consolidate, at a national and international level, the role of the country system in the defence naval industry
  • The collaboration aims to research and develop new technologies and to pursue business opportunities in the military and para-military naval market
  • The focus of the agreement will be on new generation programmes and renewal of minesweeper fleets, fast patrol boats and hydrographic vessels

Leonardo and Intermarine have signed a strategic research and development agreement on new technologies. It focuses on the creation of new generation products and commercial collaboration which will be aimed at pursuing business opportunities in the military and para-military naval market. The joint work in different specialist areas will strengthen the integration of the new generation and renewal programmes of the fleets of hunting vessels, fast patrol boats and hydrographic vessels.

The alliance also confirms the ten-year industrial relationship between the two companies as well as the shared intention of consolidating, at a national and international level, the role of the country system in the defence naval industry.

The companies’ Italian research centre and production plants will invest in robotics, unmanned technology, and naval engineering, in addition to substantial and necessary aspects for the production of multirole units, both coastal and offshore, capable of meeting the challenging mission profiles sustained for the fight to mine and for the effective control of the sea.


Intermarine is an Italian shipyard that designs and manufactures military and civilian ships, as well as naval systems and components. Its distinctive factor is the ability to build, design, build and test the ship according to customer needs, studying the best technical solution in terms of materials. The design of Intermarine products is mainly carried out within the R&D department with the support, for specific aspects, of the most renowned Italian and international companies. Intermarine invests significant resources in innovation for the benefit of future production programmes. The quality management system, a fundamental operating principle for Intermarine, is rigorously applied in all phases of ship design, construction and production. (Source: ASD Network)



24 Jun 20. Klaus P. Hruschka, head of technology sales at sensor specialist HENSOLDT, has been appointed to the board of trustees of the Fraunhofer Institute FKIE (Fraunhofer Institute for Communication, Information Processing and Ergonomics) in Bonn-Wachtberg. As a leading institute for application-oriented research and practical innovation in information and communication technology, the FKIE works in close cooperation with strategic partners on the entire processing chain of data and information. The board of trustees of the Fraunhofer FKIE meets once a year and advises the institute management on the technical orientation and structural changes of the institute. For years, HENSOLDT has not only been working with the FKIE on a basis of trust, but also with other Fraunhofer Institutes such as the Fraunhofer Institute for High Frequency Physics and Radar Technology (FHR) and the Fraunhofer Institute for Optronics, Systems Engineering and Image Exploitation (IOSB), as well as the German Aerospace Center (DLR).

Klaus Hruschka is also Chairman of the Security Committee of the German Federal Association of Security and Defence Industries (BDSV), a member of the Expert Group on ‘Innovation Gain’ and an active member of the R&T Committee. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Carl Cranz Society.


19 Jun 20. The Atlas Group (“Atlas” or the “Company”), a leading supplier of complex assemblies for commercial, business and defense aerospace customers worldwide, announced today that Jim McMullen, formerly Chief Operating Officer of Atlas, has been named Chief Executive Officer, effective immediately. Mr. McMullen succeeds Rick Wolf who is retiring after more than 20 years with the Company. Mr. Wolf will continue to serve as a member of the Board of Directors, and Mr. McMullen and Keith Kranzow, President and Chief Financial Officer of Atlas, will also join the Company’s Board of Directors. Atlas is a portfolio company of AE Industrial Partners L.P. (“AEI”), a private equity firm specializing in Aerospace, Defense & Government Services, Power Generation and Specialty Industrial markets. Mr. McMullen, who joined Atlas in 2016, has more than 25 years of experience leading complex manufacturing operations throughout the aerospace supply chain. Prior to Atlas, he served as general manager for Joined Alloys and for two Precision Castparts Corp. (“PCC”) sites, Cherry Aerospace and SPS Technologies.  Prior to PCC, Mr. McMullen served in multiple leadership roles at Honeywell within the functions of operations, quality, engineering, supply chain, and Health, Safety, Environmental & Remediation (HSE&R). He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering from Northern Arizona University and is a certified Six Sigma blackbelt and a Lean Expert. (Source: PR Newswire)

19 Jun 20. Boeing Co’s (BA.N) International Space Station program manager Mark Mulqueen will leave the company next month and be replaced by the senior official overseeing Boeing’s Starliner astronaut capsule, a spokesman said on Friday. Mulqueen’s retirement is the latest management switch-up to touch space station operations, as NASA’s space station program manager Kirk Shireman retires Friday to take a job in the private sector.

The move comes as the space station, a football field-sized research post 250 miles above the ground, undergoes a shift to commercial operations and as NASA increasingly welcomes companies to stimulate private space tourism.

John Mulholland, who managed Boeing’s Starliner program during a high-profile test mission failure last year, will take the helm of Boeing’s space station operations as the company renegotiates its decades-old contract with NASA. (Source: Reuters)

24 Jun 20. NXT Communications Corporation (NXTCOMM) announced today the appointment of Carl Novello as its Chief Technology Officer. He leads NXTCOMM’s product development efforts to bring transformational flat panel antenna solutions to mobility markets. Novello brings two decades of advanced satellite communications, system and RF antenna design and test expertise to his role. Carl Novello, CTO of NXTCOMM, is bringing transformational antenna solutions to aviation and other mobility markets. He oversees product engineering, design and development for NXTCOMM’s line of advanced electronically steered antennas that will deliver unprecedented broadband connectivity to mobile platforms. Novello also manages NXTCOMM’s work with Georgia Tech Research Institute (GTRI). NXTCOMM is bringing electronically steered antenna technology to the commercial marketplace, with technology that will offer new levels of affordability, RF efficiency and performance. (Source: PR Newswire)


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